The curtains were raised for the much awaited Rann Utsav, an annual cultural festival celebrated in the unique white desert of Gujarat. The fest promotes the culture and art from India’s largest district and celebrates life at the white expanse here.
With a rare white desert in the background and around the temporary tent city set on the barren lands of Kutch district in Gujarat, the western state’s Chief Minister, Vijay Rupani inaugurated the annual Rann Utsav on December 13, 2016.
One of the most popular events organised in western India, the Rann Utsav or the festival of desert celebrates life, culture, cuisine and festivities of Kutch, the largest district in India. It also marks the occurrence of the great Rann or desert in the state.
Aloof from regular city life, the sparsely populated Dhordo village in the district hosts the festival every year and comes to life during the months of November to February. The otherwise brown and white landscape comes to life for four months and portrays a medley of the culture and colours of the district. The Rann Utsav is in fact an initiative to promote the same; artisans and craftsmen from the surrounding villages come and display their range of products at the festival.
“The Rann Utsav is just a humble initiative taken to promote the Kutchi culture,” Rupani said, while addressing the tourists and other dignitaries present at the inauguration of the festival.
Talking about Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi’s dream of making Kutch a tourist destination, Rupani said, “Rann Utsav has become a brand for Gujarat tourism. The white sand here has made Gujarat a brand worldwide.”
The inauguration had taken place under the light of a full moon that made the white desert glow in its cool luminescence. Nights like theses attract hundreds of tourists, who take camel rides up till the desert and reel in the magnificence of the white expanse glowing in the moonlight. The sunup and the sunset views equally excite the tourists who throng the desert to capture theses moments.
In his address, Rupani also mentioned these glorious views and said that it is such rare experiences that attract visitors here and are making this event a success.
Other dignitaries to attend the inauguration included state minister, Rajendrabhai Trivedi, principal secretary, SJ Haider and state tourism minister, Ganpatsinh Vasava.
“Gujarat celebrates various festivals, be it Diwali or Navratri, but it is Kutch’s natural beauty that sets this festival apart,” Vasava said.
The ministers who were all praises about the district’s culture and the festival ended their addresses saying, “Kutch nahi dekha toh kuch nahi dekha”, literally “If you haven’t seen Kutch, you have seen nothing.”
The white desert is otherwise inaccessible to tourists for whom special provisions are made during the festival. Tourists can also visit other sites in Kutch when visiting the district for the festival.